Upgrade Options

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Dillon, Jan 21, 2008.

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  1. Dillon

    Dillon
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    Hi

    I am about to upgrade most of my hi-fi bits, which the aim of getting a pretty good stereo system, with the addition of home cinema capability. I am currently using an A32 Amplifier, Marantz Cd63Ki, a Cambridge Audio DVD, and some old B&W 602 speakers.

    I have always realy liked the sound of the A32, and would like to keep it, but after 10 years sterling service the CD is starting to fail, and I was never that fond of the speakers (auditioned with a Dynaudio Contour 1.3se originally, and got the B&Ws as what turned out to be not such a temporary solution).

    What I was thinking of doing was getting a DV139, as this would provide an excellent final CD/DVD/SACD solution, and speakers wise I was thinking of either PMC GB1 or Dynaudio Focus 220 for fronts, (and their matching centres), and something very small for rears. Its the home cinema amplification that I'm not sure what the best approach would be.

    Options I can think of would be:
    -The new Cyrus AV master processor / Amp , keeping the A32 for fronts.
    -Getting a P35/3 and a multi-channel board for the A32, and do all decoding on the DV139
    -Getting a AV300 (maybe even a denon), and using it for decoding, rear/centre amplification, and using the A32 in processor mode for the fronts.
    -Scrapping the amp entirely, and getting either a new AVR350 or a 2nd hand AV9/P7 combo.

    Anyone got any experience in doing this / recommendations as to the best option sound quality wise? I listen to music / watch movies in equal amounts really, so neither usage would be the prioity - looking for best all-round solution.
     
  2. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I do not stock Cyrus at my store, but judging by some of the e-mails flying around from other stores I would say that this would seem to be a less than reliable product. There are at least one or two stores who have had faults with every siblge unit they have sold so far. I am not commenting from personal experience, I just though I'd give you the heads up so to speak.

    I would say that is one of the best options open to you at sensible money. Even an AVR350 combined with your A32 would be a cracking combination, especially with the new PMC GB1is.
     
  3. proux

    proux
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    That's what I do and it works well. I wouldn't rush to get rid of the A32.

    The AVR350 may give you a significantly better centre channel than the 300, but it will cost you! For the price of a new 350, you could buy second hand 300 and Pxx/3 to biamp all front 3 speakers, and still have change for cables!
     
  4. OneDesi

    OneDesi
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    I think your stereo amp is excellent and so long as you dont mind a big box count you could use it as the hub of your system.

    One consideration for you could be if you want to use bluray in the future as none of the Arcam AV amps decode the HD sound formats nor do they upscale to HDMI.

    Dont get me wrong I think the DV139 is a great product but at £1800 its a lot to pay for a CD/DVD player especially when you can get the now discontinued DV29 for c.£700 new (I have to admit even that is a lot of money these days for a DVD player but it is a damn fine CD player although not as good as the DV139 from what i've read).

    Dont discount the Rega Apollo as CD players go, I have one and for £600 new it is amazing - very fleet of foot and musical.

    If you go for one of the Onkyo receivers you get all the benefit of HD and upscaling and you can use the A32 to run your front speakers.

    I know I've babbled a lot but I just wanted to point out your options are endless so dont just limit yourself to the Arcam range (even though I love my gear).

    Maybe you could expand on what else you want so we can focus a bit more.
     
  5. Dillon

    Dillon
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    Guys, thanks for the replies.

    That's very interesting information regarding the Cyrus - it wasn't my number one option, but that is good to know.

    I have not ruled out getting 2 source boxes, as I was doing some initial research in my local hi-fi shop, and happened upon a demo of a Sugden A21SE amp and Rega Saturn cd combination, which I thought was totally amazing. I thought maybe that as a CD player and something like the new Pioneer DVD would be an option rather than the Arcam (I was even thinking of the sugden amp too). The advantage of the 139 from my perspective however is that given the amount of CDs and SD DVDs I have (too many if that's possible), it would play all my current software better than most sources, in one box. Thanks to my (now) good friends at HMRC, I have a one-off opportunity to upgrade components, so am looking to get the best I can for the budget (around £4500) - I won't be replacing any of this kit for a long while.

    To answer the question of what want, I think what I want most is a very clear, detailed, warm sound from my CDs (I listen to a lot of instrumental / jazz / blues). When I got the A32 back in 2003, I auditioned it with a CD23 and Dynaudio Contour 1.3SE speakers, and thought that was the sort of sound to aspire to. I had tried an AVR200 first, and was surprised at the enormous difference in sound quality the FMJ amp gave - I hadn't appreciated the impact the amplification makes. After that demo, I always felt that the sound from the B&Ws felt a little 'muddy', and had anticipated replacing them as soon as funds allowed, but was moving around a lot with work, so put it on a back-burner. The home cinema side of things is an essential extra, but I'm not craving the ultimate in sophistication here - it is just going in a normal sized lounge. I just want to be able to have surround sound available. I will probably get those tiny Monitor Audio speakers (radius?)for the rears

    As to HD, I will be making the shift to Blu-Ray at some point in the future, but am anticipating using the player to decode the new formats and pass them into the 6-channel inuts on the home cinema amplifier, as Crusty has suggested in previous threads. Given the current price and range of the HD software, I would not be buying into that for probably another 18 months.
     
  6. gorge

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    I auditioned all sorts of Cyrus systems before settling for Arcam+ProAc. I liked the size of the cyrus units and I have a second Biamped Stero System based on cyrus amps (a little dated now) which I thought was nice. I tried all kinds of combinations of their award winning CD and amps with and without external power supply. The sound was extremely clear and transparent and very detailed. However, I do like a bit of punsh with music and video and I never got that. No matter what cables and speakers were used in the demos. One dealer eventually admitted as much: "If you want oompf don't get a Cyrus system". The Arcam CD36/A32/Chord/ProAc solution on the other hand was the exact opposite. Less detailed but with real vigour and a lovely bass punch. With 2 channel video I can now hear every bit of background low frequency rumbling and I love "feeling the audio".

    Sorry if I transgressed a little, but I wanted to share my experience with Cyrrus kit.

    Gorge.
     

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